we are walking through Central Park,
the crickets chirping so loud
that they almost sound unreal,
when you ask, didn’t you have a bag
of souvenirs? I did and now I don’t,
where did you have it last—we can call—
and you tilt the world back onto its axis
like you always do.
the subway stops at 110th Street
and a man limps onto the train, says I am sorry
to bother you but so hungry, does anyone—
and while I look away, you are
digging through pockets, holding out coins,
smiling like you mean it, and suddenly
everyone is looking for something
to give. the girl across from us reaches out
with a mandarin orange.
it reflects your light like the smallest sun.
we are walking through Central Park
in the dark, dodging cyclists who keep riding
on the path. we want to yell something rude
but we don’t, of course we don’t, and besides,
our breath is better used for laughing.
I can’t remember if I said I love you
but I felt it so loud it had to be real.
the T-Rex might have had feathers, you tell me,
early ones called microfilaments.
I consider that beast, all myth and muscle,
burgeoning wings just catching the breeze.
deep in its DNA,
in its heart of hearts,
it knew—it must have—
that it was born to fly.
Natalie Lim is a Chinese-Canadian writer based in Vancouver, B.C. and the winner of the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize. Her work is published or forthcoming in Room Magazine, Honey & Lime Lit, PRISM international and more. She is an unashamed nerd and a believer in good bones, and you can find her on Twitter @nataliemlim.